€900,000 Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris (Gr1): Gran Diose & Louisa Carberry master timing

19 May 2024

Grand Steeple 24 Gran Diose

Photo scoopdyga.com


Sunday, 19 May 2024, Auteuil Racecourse (Paris). – The unfolding of the 146th Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris (Gr1) captivated the Auteuil audience and its outcome even more so. The race favourite, 5-year-old Juntos Ganamos (Martaline), unseated his rider at the main open ditch in the back straight, having led from the start. Following this incident, two horses took the lead: Gran Diose (Planteur) and Grandeur Nature (Lord du Sud), the latter being the second favourite for the €900,000 race, with €405,000 awarded to the winner.

Both horses kept leading, finishing first and second. However, they did not have an uncontested run. In the final turn, In Love (Great Pretender) launched an attack as Gran Diose caught his breath, leaving Grandeur Nature to lead momentarily. Between the last two obstacles, the towering Gran Diose found the energy to make a decisive move, edging out Grandeur Nature by a neck with a powerful finish at the last hurdle, as his rival kept going to the end.

Five lengths behind, Général en Chef (Martaline) secured third place ahead of his In Love, while Amy du Kiff (Kapgarde) claimed fifth place.

Bred by his owners, Frédéric Hinderze and Luc Monnet, Gran Diose is trained by Louisa Carberry in Senonnes, West of France. He had not won since the Georges Courtois Chase (Gr2) in 2022, which he contested instead of the Prix La Haye Jousselin Chase (Gr1) after dominating the steeplechase at Compiègne. Since then, he had skipped the 2023 Grand Steeple and finished third in the 2023 Prix des Drags Chase (Gr2). Second in the autumn's Prix La Haye Jousselin Chase (Gr1) behind Grandeur Nature, his first Group 1 attempt, he began this season with a fifth place in the Prix Troytown Chase (Gr3) in March before finishing third in the Prix Murat Chase (Gr2).

Gran Diose is the first foal out of Noanioa (Walk in the Park), bred by Frédéric Hinderze, who won two handicaps over hurdles at Auteuil at four years old but did not race again after that season. She has also produced Canichette (Prince Gibraltar), a winner at Auteuil and in the Prix de La Gascogne Chase (Gr3) at Compiègne, though recently prone to falls, and a Motivator filly born in 2021 who remains unraced.

Quotes from connections

Louisa Carberry – the trainer of Gran Diose (1st) – Senonnes (Mayenne region)

« Thanks to Clément [Lefebvre] and especially to my horse. We've been preparing for this race for six months. People had their doubts, but we stuck to our plan. Thanks to the owners and breeders for their loyalty, as the horse has been with me since his 2-year-old days. I was worried he wouldn't see it out when he got to the front, but he showed great fighting qualities. A thought, too, for James Reveley [who rode Juntos Ganamos in the race], as he helped us shape this horse.

Clément Lefebvre – the jockey of Gran Diose (1st)

« I rode the horse in his work last week, and he was in splendid shape. Given my trust in Louisa and the horse, I went into the race in a very calm frame of mind. She instructed me, above all, not to go to the front, but he proved a cool customer, and so I was able to take the horse in hand.

Frédéric Hinderze – the co-owner of Gran Diose (1st)

«What a journey! What patience too! We have waited a very long time for such a horse. Louisa and Philip Carberry have always believed in him. Completely. And so did we, who brought the horse into the world. It's the culmination of a lifetime’s work. Last year we gave up on the horse because he wasn't 100 per cent. It proved that we were right to do so. And we have come back bigger and better this year. There was no certainty this would happen, but we were confident nonetheless. Our friends are here. Happy days. And all this thanks to an extraordinary horse. »

Nicolas de Lageneste – owner and co-breeder of Grandeur Nature (2nd) - and the owner and co-breeder of Général en Chef (3rd)

« Grandeur Nature was fantastic! He didn't lose any kudos in defeat. He ran his race; there's nothing to say. As Arnaud [editor’s note: Chaillé-Chaillé] said, he's much better on heavy ground, and if that had been the case, his trainer thinks it would have been no contest. So, see you again in the autumn at the Prix La Haye Jousselin! He should follow a similar pathway in the lead-up, as he will have a reappearance race over hurdles before heading to the big race proper, as that seems to suit him well. And see you again next year in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris... hoping, this time, for rain! I'm very pleased to see Général en Chef back to his best. He's a complicated horse and his trainers have really done a great job with him. It's a great source of satisfaction. »

Noel George – the co-trainer of Général en Chef (3rd) – Chantilly (Oise region)

«Benjamin [Gelhay] rode a dream race. I'm very happy for the whole team. He's a very good horse, and he showed it today. He gave everything in this race, but he was tired and it showed after the finishing post. He will have a break now, so we'll see him again in the autumn. He's a temperamental horse, both in the morning and afternoon, but he has a lot of quality. »

Hugo Merienne – the trainer of In Love (4th) – Chantilly (Oise region)

 «It's incredible for Andy Peake, the owner. I believed that the win was on at the last jump. And I thought we were going to make it! In Love ran a great race, and we were beaten by some very good horses... »